- Why do female waiters get a bigger tip than their malecolleagues?
- What is the purpose of pain?
- Are we infact all homosexual?
- Do we discriminate our children?
In Darwin at the supermarket Mark Nelissen fi ndsnumerous examples of Darwin’s theory of naturalselection. His fi ndings lead to surprising insights. Darwin at the supermarket, a humorously written bookthat, at the same time, has a profound scientific basis, is an eye-opener for Darwin’s inheritance and helps toexplain human behaviour.
A Spanish bar.
My fat neighbour finishes his beer and asks the waiter what he owes him. ‘Dos euros’, the young waitersmiles. The fat man gives him a coin of 2 Euros and getsready to leave when he sees that the waiter hands his apronto his successor, a blond, enthusiastic waitress. The fatman looks at her and sits down again. He orders another‘cerveza’ and asks her what he owes her. Instead of 2 Euros,he generously gives her 3 Euros and winks at her. She happilytakes her tip and walks away. Nowadays childrenare protected, but in ancient times they weren’t. The child’s chances of survival increased substantially ifthe mother got help. All help was welcome, especiallyfrom the father. The more the father had to offer,the more chances of survival the child had. In other words, the father had to be rich. There was one little problem: a woman could not always see if a man wasrich enough to provide for her and her imaginary baby.So she turned to the man’s reputation. Men who were generous had a reputation of having enough resources.
Mark Nelissen is a professor in behavioural biologyat the University of Antwerp. In his books and lectureshe explains the principles of biology to the broad publicand really knows how to capture their attention.